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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  June 3, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EDT

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represented alaskan fishermen in the 1989 exxon valdez oil spill and a discussion about public education with the national education association president. . . what issue on this thursday morning talks your list of concerns?
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as you know yesterday if you watched our program we had a discussion about the president's leadership style in the wake of the handling of the gulf. the very first caller in this morning critiqued us and the mainstream media in general for overemphasizing the gulf. let's listen in. caller: even c-span, you have had gulf of mexico oil coming out of your ears, eyes, and mouth. it has been endless coverage. i know it is a critical issue. but you guys have not had anyone on from the flotilla. last week you did not cover when it took off. all we see our israeli clips. host: there are clips from the other side as well. the caller: i watched msnbc 45 hours and i counted how many times you showed the is really click. you need to show the other side
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of issues. that is why we are all headed to the blogospere. we need to be more well informed. show the other side. host: based on that caller's critique without the appropriate thing this morning is to ask you what issue currently tops your list of concerns. but first let's take a tour of what is making news in the national newspapers and the crop -- and across the country. "the baltimore sun" talks about the gulf states bracing for oil. "the miami herald" -- we need to protect the state. "the tallahassee democrat" on the gulf coast. below that, tar about 10 miles offshore. continuing from the front pages, "the times picayune" --
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hicks snag. bobby jindal hails federal ruling on barriers. in pittsburgh, the oil spill at the top. speech, but the headline, obama defense policies. they have the flotilla attack on their front page. israeli p.m. defense flotilla attacked -- israeli pm defends the flotilla attack. and this headline, nuclear option not on the table. a lot of callers suggested putting a nuclear device down in the wells to seal it.
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"usa today," it the oil spill dominates their. -- "usa today," the oil spill dominates there. as anxiety rises, focus turns on limiting damage. we will show you some more from pages after a few telephone calls. pensacola, florida. thomas on the republican line. caller: i'm a little surprised c-span is becoming so thin skins host: not all, just wanted to use the call as an opportunity to put the topic before you. caller: i got it. i strongly disagree with that caller. i think clearly this is one of the worst catastrophes to happen to the united states of america. i don't know where this caller is calling from, but down here it is a nightmare.
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i actually appreciate c-span covering this with a number of guests. i think this is the issue. having said that, you ask what is the concern. until this thing happened, the concern clearly is jobs and the economy. anybody with any sense can look around and see the sovereign debt of around the world, here at home, deficits, 18% real unemployment. anybody who has had any longevity on earth knows this is not sustainable and obama does not seem up to the job. host: let us here next from john, a democrat from portland, maine. what tops your list of concerns? caller: i got the same concerns about the oil spill in the gulf. what it is stunning to me is to see the gulf states, which have been extremely republican, often to the far right, some of the
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most anti-environmental politics in this nation, now suddenly throwing their arms up in the air and being so out rage about what the oil companies have done. -- outrage about what the oil companies have done. when legislation comes forward, the people are attacked as tree huggers and now you see everyone from the back would red neck to the politicians suddenly become environmentalists. we will say, maybe that is the only good thing that will come out of this. it is a catastrophe, a shame, and you ought to be applauded for keeping this right in people's faces. it is the only way it will change. host: another caller by the name of john. this one calling from pennsylvania, independent line. what is top of your list? caller: it is israel. the ramifications of what israel is doing and getting the united
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states involved or complicity in this whole deal has more global repercussions than the oil spill. i would say they are one and one-a. there has been very little coverage of the flotilla, accurate coverage for sure. all we are hearing from the mainstream media is israel's viewpoint. a bunch of lies, basically. so, from a global standpoint and the united states getting involved in a third world war, it is israel. and we just sit back, the congress approves anything israel does, and we are making a big, big mistake. host: israel is the lead story in "the new york times" this morning.
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here is the headline -- that is their lead story today. right below it, they are the source of the nuclear option story. also, the off-lead is on abortion policy in the states. abortion foes did not -- more regulations on physicians. this is on the use of broadband. at&t's announcement that it will begin charging tiered service for heaviest users. below that, a piece -- study cited for health cost cuts overstated its upside, critics say. this is from a once obscure research group at dartmouth that
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was cited by the proponents of health reform, now law, they say that while the research company and the dartmouth outlook has been widely interpreted as showing the country's best and worst care, dartmouth researchers themselves admit that it mainly shows the varying cost of care in the states. washington, d.c., republican line. what is your top issue this summer? caller: i am interested in the immigration law in arizona. i am a native of tucson and lived there all my life before moving to the wonderful state of washington, and i experienced firsthand the immigration problems in arizona. i have a number of friends, close friends, who are hispanic. most of the ones that i know have come into the country legally, as well as other
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nationalities that i know that have come into the country legally. i remember as a young girl, my parents lived in the outskirts of tucson, out of the city limits, and we had a little ranch. we would have numerous illegal aliens coming across the border. and my dear, sweet mama would always give them sandwiches and water because it is a rough area to come across the border in that way. i'm very distressed at the way the nation has condemned arizona. you must understand that a lot of the problem with illegal immigration in arizona is condoning of the small businesses in hiring illegals. i recently have worked for a major tax preparation company here in the tri-cities, and some
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of my clients were hispanic, and i love them all dearly, however, i will tell you that two in particular gave me false social security cards. and when i asked them about them they said, well, they are from mexico, and i said, where did you get your social security card, and they said, i think it was my cousins, he lives in california. we use it to get work. there is something might be wrong with our nation that condemns arizona for merely -ptrying to enforce federal law- host: i have to stop the at that point. immigration and arizona's law. or first guest this morning at 7:45 a.m. eastern time, former chief of staff of customs and board of protection agency, the second political position in that agency, and he will be here
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to talk about border security and deployment of national guard troops to the border to help enforce the immigration laws. next is a call from columbia, maryland. regina, democrats line.
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l bp, the oil spilll, to this day we have not capped the dam oil -- damn oil. israel, nets and now hope the standing there beside himself
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with -- netanyahu is now standing there beside himself saying, where is the leader, where is the president? host: topping a list of concerns, that is what we are talking about. "the financial times" has the bp oil spill. an interview with tony hayward, saying they lacked the right tools. the headline "bp not prepared for spelled." also on the front page, you and votes for probe into attack on foot to love -- the u.n. votes for a probe into the attack on the flotilla. and of the volcker rules, banks can face strict proprietary trading band. -- boat volcker rules, banks can face strict proprietary trading ban.
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next is orange county, california. caller: i wanted to talk about illegal immigration. i am retired from the carpenter union. one thing i did, i went into the service at 17 and got out. because there were jobs available to us, i was able to find a job until i got into the carpenters. 17 years as an instructor with.- the high school vocational and then seven years with the apprenticeships. the big thing that i have, with the carpenters union, i know for a fact because i had to sign these students in, they were coming through without legitimate papers, none at all. and i took it to my supervisor
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and i also talked to my union and they told me if i wanted to teach, that i'd better just pay attention to my job and not worry about the legality of the students. one thing i want to complain about, if i had not been able to get into the union when i was young, i would not have had the union -- living that i had, but the unions have turned their backs on the american worker. the industries where they do hotels and stuff like this. so, california right now is going bankrupt. l.a. county, who made themselves an open city and san francisco, have come down hard against arizona. the big thing is, we don't have enough politicians with any backbone to protect the american worker. i think when we get people in there for the politicians, we need to get people from cis,
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center for immigration studies, to freeze up all of the lies that are -- that are being put out. host: the next call is from queens, new york. mary on the independent line. caller: first of all, it is the oil spill. that concerns me greatly because it is going to affect our entire country down the line. not only in terms of jobs and better going to be lost, but there will be major health issues -- jobs that are going to be lost, but there would -- -- because there will be major health issues. the second is illegal immigration. i don't know why they are going after -- they are not going after the employers. and we are in two wars, that concerns me, very heavy on my heart. lastly, i am just so concerned about the condition of our country in terms of our youth and a high dropout rate.
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the young people that are nnt finishing school. i am just really concerned because these are our future leaders. i just don't know what is going on that they are dropping out at the rate that they are. host: thank you for your call. today in illinois, the federal corruption trial of former gov. ron blagojevich gets underway with the jury selection beginning. a reporter covering it for "the chicago tribune" is on the line. good morning, jeff. set the stage on how this trial is expected to unfold. guest: finally expecting it today after all of the reality tv and the defense attempts to delay. we are really expecting quite a political show to unfold in chicago. we will get to see years of the blagojevich but ministration laid bare from the time he was elected in 2000 -- blagojevich
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administration laid bare from the time he was elected in 2002, and all of the activities -- the pay to place game -- paid to play scheme. we will watch that sort of grow into the period that the country kind of came aware of it, -- became aware of it, the alleged sale of the senate seat that barack obama vacated when he was elected. host: what are the most serious allegations, the charges by the government, and what is the possible penalty? guest: he is charged in a 24- count indictment but the most serious charge is probably the racketeering conspiracy scheme, which is pretty broad, that before he was elected he conspired with a close group of associates to basically sell the
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powers of his office, that he would make a campaign contribution for getting a state contract or a board appointment. what the board alleged is he ran the entire state as a criminal record. host: there are people here now involved in national government that have been part of the witness list. can you talk about the washington connection? guest: rahm emanuel has been subpoenaed. of course, the defense made an attempt to call barack obama himself to the witness stand. we will certainly see a very heavy washington connection, especially for the defense, because part of the strategy will be an attempt to normalize the situation as much as possible and kind of make it look like regular old political horse trading. to accomplish that, they want to drag the obama administration into it and get as many people as they can to say that they did not feel they were doing anything wrong when they were dealing with blagojevich and
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what ever was or was not in the president's head was certainly normal when he was thinking about dealing with chicago and trying to get blagojevich to appoint someone that he favored to his old seat. they want that to look as normal as possible for the jury. we will probably see political characters called to the stand who will say that they did not think there was anything that they did wrong. host: the former governor, has he already announced he will speak in his own defense? guest: he definitely will. he said he was eager to testify on his own behalf. another part of what the defense is trying to do is play a lot of the undercover recordings that they say show he was not doing anything that was abnormal. the only way they could accomplish that is to give rod blagojevich on the witness stand and to have him try to explain his state of mind, and
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then to corroborate that, played tapes that the government does not have, to maybe show he was doing more normal political things. host: who is the federal judge hearing the case? and what can you tell us about him? guest: very respected jurrst in chicago. he has an interesting background. he is a novelist, had parts in a couple of movies. law enforcement background -- a reagan appointee but he led the state police here in illinois and is a former assistant state attorney. we think he is probably capable of keeping this circus under control. in 2007 he had a really interesting mob case which was maybe not quite the surface this is going to be but definitely had its share of colorful lawyers and the judge was
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working overtime to keep everybody in line. host: what is the expectation for the jury selection process? guest: he said he will call about 34 people a day, beginning this morning. that will probably put him on track to have the jury may be by monday, monday or tuesday. host: what is your expectation of the media interest? guest: we think it will be pretty crazy. there are 24 reserved mediacy to the court room, which is not terribly big. we heard complaints from some press that did not get in as part of the initial pull -- pool. and expecting, it just because of the obama connection, a heavy blog thconnection. host: we will see your byline
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throughout the summer and thank you for giving the c-span audience a preview of the blagojevich trial as the jury selection process gets under way in court today. our question this thursday morning is really directed to you and asking you what issue tops your list of concerns. let's go back to telephone calls and hear from you. christian, republican from texas. caller: corpus christi, texas. i did have a comment about the oil spill, but more a broad comment. roe vs. wade was decided on the privacy of every american, a right to privacy with their health care professionals, there pharmacists, against the
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government. i live in texas, i grew up in dallas county where the original lawsuit, the family and the doctor, took place. i was adopted at birth. i will not give my date of birth, but i was born in 1972. i can't say i'm a perot or anti- abortion -- pro or anti- abortion, but it is out of control. host: next is a telephone call from philadelphia, democrats line. caller: good morning. my problem is about jobs. it seems like the media doesn't seem to really dig into the problem. the problem is, if you go into
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any department store -- walmart, to buy a tv -- nothing is made in america anymore. they outsource all the jobs overseas. people don't have jobs that make a good salary, like they used to. if this was during the second world war, we would lose the war. we won the war because we had our own steel companies, we could make everything, everything we would need. but today, everything is outsourced. you go into any store and you have nothing made in america anymore. host: that caller is from philadelphia. a twitter user tweets us --
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that's a telephone calls. long island, new york. stephen, independent line. caller: it is very interesting that you are having this subject this morning, because i had every intention of writing you a letter. i can't disagree with anybody who called in so far. the tragedy in new orleans, the pain that the people are suffering. but this is what troubled me a lot, and i really could go on. i will try to be as brief as possible. i think the american media is really not doing its job at all. this is how the american public gets informed. i am very disturbed with c-span because i think you guys of the best. i listen to you every day. i record the show and i make it a point to listen. but there is one subject that it seems to me, if you guys have board meetings, that you are just afraid to touch.
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you will not put on the subject of israel. i know people call up and say anti-semitic things, but there is something between anti- semitism and support of israel. there are legitimate issues and discussions about israel without people being anti-semitic. frankly, one of two examples. it is my belief that in large part the reason why we left afghanistan and went into iraq is because of pressure, and i also believe our problem with our brand is being pushed. what bothers me the most is c- span, one of the best forms of media in the entire country, i really think you folks have meetings and say don't discuss it. yesterday greta's said would somebody called up, she said with disgust at the before.
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but when you go to your own records, you did not discuss it. you had a group of questions, and that was part of it, but you did not address it. i would love to ask the question but i know you guys don't answer questions. when you sit down at a board meeting, do you say, let's not discuss this issue? host: of course not. we don't have board meetings, we have editorial meetings for the network and also for this program. we never say, let's not cover this issue. but thank you for participating, steve. "the washington post" frontpage, the story of israel and the relationship with the united states. administration urged caution and restraint concerning eight boats -- aid boats. this man who had been in turkey with his wife who had been treated for cancer.
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also on the front page -- addiction to fossil fuels must be broken, the president says. the president of the national education association -- in washington, district teachers approved contract, expands chancellor's powers. going back to your calls, what top tier list of concerns. here is a call from missouri. jim, democrats line. caller: as terrible as the oil spill is -- and i'm glad criminal prosecution is aimed at bp -- but nobody seems to call into prosecution, the whole oil spill happened because of human negligence. when people die because of human
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negligence, it is called negligent homicide and no one is checking who is responsible -- which people made the wrong decisions that caused the deep water horizon to blow up and kill 11 people. i think that needs to be talked about. host: thank you. robert crawford tweets us -- >> is a call from tampa. -- next is a call from tampa. caller: we keep wanting to put the blame on this person or that person. that is not the issue. who cares who is to blame? what we need to do is get together as american people, we the people, like we used to be back in the early 1800's when people stood together and did what needed to be done.
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we need to get this oil picked up before it gets to our shores and stop laying around and saying, blame this one or that one. we need to get together and do that and we need to stop making so many laws, that any more it is almost a crime to blow your nose in the street. america is just backed asswards. we need to get together for this country is going straight to. that is all i have to say about that and thank you for your time. host: thank you for calling in. a tweet -- back to front pages. "the washington times" -- also on their front page -- gop sounds alarm on red ink.
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green is seeing red over new gulf oil permits. the obama administration ran afoul of the environmentalists for approving a new well in the gulf of mexico. above that, u.s. droned strikes come under u.s. fire -- u.s. drone strikes. below that, a photograph from the flotilla is placed -- the
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hands of one of the activists placed on a bus window, free all prisoners, free gaza, is the message. shawn, republican line did a your biggest issue of concern? caller: the biggest one would be the oil spill. i was born and raised on madeira beach, gulf of mexico, my back door was 45 feet from the water. nothing is being done. i concur with the last caller. he pretty much summed the issue of so i would like to address the other one. my next issue would be small business owners. i have a small business in lexington, virginia. there hasn't been any help or aid to those small business owners. if mr. obama wanted to do something to help the small business owners, he would not
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say employs more people. he would take care of the peopl3 that they have already instead of saying higher more people that they can't afford. you keep giving credits and benefits and assistance to people who can't afford homes -- that is how we got into this such a wish and that we are in now. host: what is your business? caller: we make headstones. host: how many people you employ? caller: what would be the most beneficial federal program for you right now? if you have a business loan, you have to refinance every five years. when you start out to -- start out your mortgage and loan, half of that five years you pay off so much amount of money off of that and you go to write off -- refinance, if the interest rate was lower each times of the
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interest rate is not hire each time, it would be very beneficial to the small business owner. we are now paying more than what we were we first started -- not started, but bought into the business. we have been in business since 1927. this year with the winter, we went three months without either a phone call or a walk in. we had to take money out of our own accounts to take care of employees because we do not believe in letting employees off, trying to push them aside and just letting them go. whereas, these big corporations, they don't care. they don't care about you or your family. all they want to do it is make a buck. instead of taking care of the employees. when i was growing up, i worked my but off to make a living, to get where i am now. another issue is, there are too many people watching tv --
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host: have to stop at that point. other people need to get through. oil spill #1 and small-business aide, number two. -- oil spill is number one, and small business aid is a number two. a tweet -- >> a call from michigan. claudia, democrats line. caller: my concern of the tax breaks for laws corporations and the influence of large corporations on congress and our lawmakers. i agree with one of the previous callers that the corporations do not care about the people. they only care about making a dollar. and many of these corporations are international. they have no loyalties to the united states or the people. i am concerned about the influence that they have on congress.
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all of laws are being written by -- appears to be written by the congress -- i mean, the corporation, and not to benefit the people, we the people of the united states. it appears to be to benefit, we, the corporations. thank you very much. host: "the wall street journal" frontpage lead story -- netanyahu decries offensive of hypocrisy. and warren buffett of housing bubble -- i was wrong on it, too. warren buffett said moody's does not deserve special blame for not seeing the housing market collapse. his berkshire hathaway owns a stake in the firm. at&t and limits on web data, what it means for internet usage in the future and pricing, also on their front pages this morning.
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below that, on publishing, the future of the book as vanity press goes digital. this is telling us, much as blogs been in and to news business, youtube, television, now a powerful new nation of books threatening the industry. george, independent line. your biggest concern war were repaired caller: the morning, susan. good morning all intelligence c- span watchers. the last caller took all the wind out of my sale. i just agree with her 100%. a big farmer, oil, wall street, insurance companies have bought the best government taken by a -- big pharma. next on my list is top six is nuclear proliferation, especially with iran and north korea appeared north korea it is going to be really a problem. host: all right, george, thank you for your call in being a part of the discussion. gary duncan tweets --
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t is a call from michael. caller: the issue i would like to discuss is national as well as global. i have not heard media or any politician speak of this sense back in the '60s, and it is overpopulation. think about it. if the presence explosion of population, like it has doubled in something like 35 years globally, were to somehow or another be curbs and people use some reason and rationality, we would have less oil spills because we would need less oil, we would need less government officials because we would simply have fewer people, we
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would have less pollution because not so many people would be driving automobiles and so forth, and, you know, it is a simple problem but the remedy is probably fairly complex and due to different religions and some countries with, let's say, and go over all iq. but it -- it is something that needs to be looked at, and it is something that would cause a lot of disruption i would say politically, so all of the politicians and for the most part media run from this issue and don't say a thing about it in many years. host: thank you, michael, from north carolina. hartford, connecticut airport security is on the front page. the photograph is of a federal
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transportation security administration program analyst testing a new device, millimeter wave scanner used to spot hidden objects on people as they move through the airport. looking for concealed objects. our topic is what issue top tier issue of concerns. irving, kentucky, the white on the democrats' line caller: good morning. host: what do you have to say? caller: it is awful about the oil spill but how can you put a price on the issue, how can you put price on nature, the environment, and those people, and the fish may never come back. , it is just an awful tragedy and it seems like it took forever for
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everybody to act. they are going to get their money. but how could we motivate those people? we could give them more money, but how do we motivate them? host: dear comments are a good needed to tell you that at 8:30 eastern time, brian o'neill, who spent 21 years representing fishermen in the 1989 exxon valdez oil spill, joining us from minneapolis and he will talk about the legal implications of the gulf oil spill, including what criminal and civil charges could be brought against bp and other companies, and what potential legal liabilities for the companies. the exxon of the spill and what we learned from that. brian o'neill at 8:30 eastern
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time. this tweet -- the last call on this topic, new jersey, maurice, independent line. caller: thank you. good morning. my concern, i have been following this problem in gaza and israel and the palestinians and how much time is spent on it. this latest episode involves the responsibility. i have heard a little bit about the united nations and the condemnation of israel. there is blame on all sides. in the titular, in this case -- in particular, in this case,
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allowing these activists to board these ships and tried to run the blockade. israel, it is a democracy. it wants to help their people and the palestinians, very concerned about security, and the bringing of farms. i think some of the outrage should be also placed on turkey allowing these ships to be boarded by these activists and there should be some mechanism to be able to inspect shipments of arms to terrorists and the people who refuse to have a democracy. that is really all i have to say and i appreciate the opportunity. host: a final tweet -- thank you so much for your
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input. three guests coming up, and we will discuss border security, oil spill, and the history of exxon valdez with criminal and civil prosecution, and finally education reform through the eyes of the president of the national education association. we will be right back with our first guest. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> this week watch book tv on primetime, today with former goldman sacks managing director prince on the back room deals. new york daily news columnist on losing our religion, the liberal media possible attack on christianity. talk radio host tammy bruce --
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tammy bruce of the death of right and wrong and, and barnes is the new black, my year in a women's prison. >> i said -- my god, this president is going to be in peach. this is about eight weeks into the break-in. woodward said we could never used the word impeachment around the newsroom, lest anybody think we have some kind of agenda of. but the awe of that moment stays with me. >> c-span's video library -- mark woodward and bernstein for more of of this year and would all keep players -- other key players said about the break-in and cover-up. c-span video library, free, on- line. we've got three new c-span books. "abraham lincoln," the "supreme
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court is a tiered and "who is buried in grant's tomb?" to order, go to c-span.org /books. each one also a great gift idea for father's day. >> "washington journal" continues. on years -- host: on your screen is thad bingel, he served as chief of staff for board of protection from 2007 through 2009. talking about affect of the securing our southern border, and in particular with news the president today will be meeting with arizona gov. jan brewer on the immigration law. let me get to that first. what do you think of arizona's's response? guest: i think in many ways, i have been less prone to rust to
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judgment on it because the law has not even begin -- begun to begun in force. i think we need to judge it after we see how arizona law enforcement handles it because the law itself is one thing. how they train and actually implement it is another. i think that is where the have to pay particular attention -- attention, and they will because the eyes of the nation is on them, they will go overboard to make sure their officers are properly trained so they are not engaged in recklessly pulling over american citizens of hispanic background. i do not think that is what we will see. but i will wait to judge the law until i see it implemented. i do understand the sentiment behind the law. during my years at cbt, arizona has borne the brunt probably for the last 20 years of illegal immigration in this country. there is frustration that has little to do -- with directly on the border, the security there,
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but the numbers of people who are already in the country illegally. some across the border, some came legally and overstayed and others entered through other states. but arizona decided clearly that they had enough and it is trite -- time to try something new. it made a statement that they don't think the federal government, particularly border enforcement, has done enough. host: assess the state of the southern border today? caller: action with the southern border is more secure than it has ever been -- guest: actually, the southern border is more secure than it has ever been because of more resources. under 10,000 decade ago to now more than 20,000. we doubled the number of agents. we significantly increased the amount of technology. but the border is not yet secure. violence has actually escalated over the last decade. not probably as bad in terms of
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the effects on u.s. side -- but certainly a contributing factor of the arizona law and the frustrating, which is one of the numbers of people illegally crossing the border are way down and we got much better catching those who attempt, there is now the reaction of violence because there is a narco cartel battle south of the border and they are being squeezed on both sides of the border for the first time. so, they have reacted with of violence when before it was easier for them to sneak across. now they are being confronted and we are seeing the spillover of violence, particularly on the mexican side of there is concern that it is not affecting the u.s. side as well. host: during the break i showed you the front page of "the houston chronicle." agents fear cartel attack on dam. i will show you a little bit about what it says --
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for people run the country reading this, what is behind this kind of attack? what is the motivation and does it in faxing critical? -- does it in fact seem credible? guest: cartels have been reluctant to take an attack on that scale and in the past were not willing to take that risk because it was bad for business, having a major attack on the u.s. would lead to a tightening of the border. very senior well-established cartel leaders with well defined territories who sort of had a gentleman's agreement. because of the confrontation with the mexican government and what we have done here, some of the senior cartel leaders have
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been killed or jailed. other organizations and now fighting for territory with each other. it has gotten tougher to move the drug loads across the border. so, things like this, the thinking now may be different among the cartel's. we have seen when a much smaller scale diversionary tactics by the cartels on the border. in order to move a load across, they will throw rocks and border control agents, send a note of illegal migrants across. this would be a distraction on a grand scale. if the intent was to create a major disruption of along the border so they can move elsewhere, that is one possible explanation. host: we will get to calls in a couple of minutes -- your calls, e-mails and tweets. let us move to the president's announcement that he will deploy national guard troops. president bush made a similar move during his administration.
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when these two presidents deploy national guard to the border, is this a political or practical decision or both? guest: in little of both. i think when we did operation jumpstart in 2006 and 2007, it was, in many ways, the practical recognition that we did not have the border control resources we needed at the southwest border at the time and to get to the point of training and equipping out some more agents, we needed a stopgap, a bridge. the national guard deployment of 6000 national guardsmen was part of it. in many ways, the national guard is an easy political gesture, too. they are easily deployed and you can show immediate action. it isn't necessarily going to make a big impact on the border. even with the 6000 troops deployed under operation jumpstart. the first thing people have to
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realize is when you deploy in number of national guardsmen, there is an average for every man in the field, there are three behind them in the supply chain. it in the case of national guard deployment and jumpstart, we saw deployment of maybe 4000 actually on the border at any one time and then you had units, and to and from the border, people staffing the depots and equipping the units, people performing headquarters functions to manage the logistics. when you say 1200, you are not really talk about seeing 1200 on the border. when you then factor in shift work, the fact that you are looking at eight or 10 hour shifts for these guardsmen, really you may be seeing a third of that at any one time at the border. they are primarily performing this in -- mission support roles. in operation jumpstart it was not will help -- because you had national guard's people being
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able to monitor communications, monitoring the cameras, perform observation functions, performed transportation logistics and repair functions, you free of border patrol agents that would otherwise have to do that. that is what this deployment may help with. putting them in mission support roles and freeing up the agents to enforce the law. i think 1200 is probably a good start but probably too few. host: let us get to telephone calls and other viewer messages. concord, new hampshire. shame on the democrats' line. caller: i think there is a ridiculous division between rich and poor in mexico and i don't think there is enough done about that. so, i don't know why people don't do that. people don't say anything about mexico's handling of their own population.
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that is all i am going to say. guest: it is a valid point. we have a look at what drives illegal immigration and some of the cartel activity. there is a split of rich and poor in mexico, as in most countries of the world. the u.s. has significantly increased aid to mexico, and we probably need to do more because for the first time we really have a partner government in the calderon administration who is actively waging a battle to take back mexico from crime and corruption. there was a lot of lip service paid to that in previous mexican administrations, but i think we do have a true ally who is really on the verge of a battle for mexico's sold. more u.s. aid can help but will -- mostly it is about mexicans. host: this e-mail message --
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guest: sure, it is a good question, and it points to a little bit of a dichotomy. there is no quick solution and no inexpensive solution to really get control of our border. we have significantly increased resources to the southwest border, but it pales in comparison when you look at the dod budget, for instance. we spend about $12 billion or $13 billion a year on the border enforcement. the budget of cbp and parallel agencies. compare it to dod where we spend $670 billion plus supplemental $100 billion. if we really are talking about
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sealing the border -- and i am not sure that is ever going to be a realistic solution -- but just getting more resources to the border to make a difference, whether it is additional fencing, technology, agents -- all three of those are probably needed -- but it is going to take time, and it is going to take money and anybody would tells you otherwise probably does not know what they are talking about. so, we have to decide as a country, but we want to make that investment of resources? the e-mailer's point is right on, we need to confront the issue -- are we spending it wisely, how much more we need to spend? there are plans on how to do this but they are over a period of years. we did not get to the situation overnight. our problem with illegal immigration and drug violence on our southwest border -- it is decades in the making and it will probably take at least that long to fix. host: our guest has his law
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degree from georgetown, and before his time that cbt he was capitol hill, counsel and policy analyst for majority leader dick armey of texas, majority counsel for full house judiciary committee during the 1 hudgins and a's, and 109th congress is affairs, managing cbt's relations with the house and senate. at that time, there was a great deal of congressional interest. he attained the position of chief of staff for the commissioner and served throughout the transition period into the obama administration. .
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is pointless. guest: i -- that is another piece of this argument. and there have been many who have said, including president coldiron that the demand side of this is a big problem, that the u.s. market for drugs is causing problems. there's others who ant to legalize marijuana. i won't take a position on that. i'm say as long as we have the laws that we do on immigration around on drugs, we have to make a decision whether or not we're going to enforce those laws. host: valerie on the independent line. good morning. caller: i have a couple questions. i think largely, a lot of this problem did begin under the rep
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can -- you know, also i do live in san teen yo. and the people from the east coast areas, it took a lot of heart to do this, because the remaining jobs, we may not have any. and why are illegal aliens voting? they shouldn't have a right to vote, at all. host: value rirks thanks. guest: -- host: valerie, thanks. guest: she's right.
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it's important that people who show up to vote be u.s. citizen s. she's also right that you have to limit -- people who haven't spent significant time in the border areas don't see it. a snapshot in time only tells you so much. and if you take a longer view, and when we were talking about the numbers before, susan. we have seen progress on the southwest border before. it's probably frustrating to some on this debate, because it doesn't look like we've made any progress. you look at 2005. the busiest station in the or fastest-growing you'lla station in arizona. they had 125,000 illegal aliens
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that they apprehended that year in 2005. you contrast that with last year, 2009. that number was down to 3800. that's because the technology and infrastructure and additional agents was put into uma. it turned the tide. that's significant progress but doesn't mean we're done, because we're far from it. that should inform our options our policy options for the policy makers going forward that progress can be made, but it takes a sustained commitment in time. host: rep can line -- republican line, good morning. caller: thank you. something that has perturbed me for the past two years when i became aware that many of these ports of entry are privately owned. i'm amazed at this, and i
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wonder what is the purpose of these privately-owned ports of entry and whether they are not just sieves for immigration. i'm referring specifically to ports in texas and arizona. who controls? who really owns these ports? and what part do they play in the federal or immigration border control? they are privately-owned ports own by privately-owned entities. guest: let me address that, most of the port entities are owned by c.d.p., the agent responsible for staffing them or the general services administration, g.s.a., also a government agency. there are some privately-owned facilities. i know for example, legislator aido is one. loredo is one. but you won't see private
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security guards manning border posts. they are c.d.p.-owned security guards and staff. sometimes it's more difficult to make improvements or modernize those facilities. that's something the agency has been working through for some time. but i would just advise the caller that he shouldn't take the fact that there's some privately-owned -- and some of them are owned by the municipality, so the city of loredo may own it and lease it to c.d.p. it doesn't mean loredo is responsible solely for it. host: mary on twitter. she asks is mexico trying to stop drugs at its southern border? guest: mexicans are. they have taken a number of
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steps to secure their southern border with guatemala and regarding their maritime border, certainly that's where some of the mari aid has gone and they have sent advisors from the d.e.a. to help mexicans look at their border problem. uh, it's not just a question of drugs. but certainly there are a number of immigrants moving from central and south america through mexico. in fact,, some of the efforts for -- from mexico is they have pushed some of the flow of drugs offshore and are looking for alternate routes. in the pacific. so they have done more. it requires time and resources, some of which the united states can provide in terms of expertise and technology. host: the next question is what
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does mexico do to illegals she asks? guest: i'm not sure i can answer with a high degree of certainty. it depends on the country they are coming from and the status the mexican government has with that country. i'll give an example. when we had a significant frob problem of what we called catch and release where we would apprehend non-mexicans at the mexican border. we could not send them to mexico because they were not mexican citizens and it was often a cumbersome problem to arrange transportation for those people back, so they were often given, and there was lack of detention space, too, in the 2005 time frame, so they were often releaseed with a notice to appear which was frequently ignored. but help from the mexican government. for example, we had a big
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problem with brazilians and the ease with which they were able to travel to mexico and then travel to the united states. the mexican government took steps to tighten up some of the consulate approval processs to allow brazilians to come to mexico. so they are doing things like that. it is a country-by-country situation, but mexico does not want to be a transit hub for illegals. nor does canada. so both take steps to address illegal immigrants who travel from other countries and may not intend to stay in mexico but come to the united states. >> and has the mexican cartel penetrated parks in california? >> there are reports they have set up marijuana groves in some of the national forests and parks in california. you know, how directly they are tied to cartels based in mexico or whether they are offshoots
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of those organizations primarily run by people here in the united states, i'm not certain. but yes. we've seen a disturbing trend in the cartels expanding their region northward and even into our public lands. hoot: next phone call from our democrats line, oklahoma, texas. caller: i think it's odd you have a lady calling from san antonio that talks about their immigration problem. they were there generations and generations before she was. do your homework. and let's be honest, immigration is not due to drugs. that's not the problem. immigration is due to people coming over here, trying to find a better way of life. now here in oklahoma, we have a law that says it is illegal to hire a quote illegal immigration. an illegal immigrant. now i've called dr. tom cobern
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four different times and asked him if he would stand behind me when i go after the corporations and companies that are hiring the illegals and you know what? have not received one phone call back. so see, we talk about how bad it is rep cannes talk about how bad it is and this and that. we have a law in oklahoma. it's illegal to hire quote illegal immigrants, but are we backing that up? no. but then we want to go and pick on the little man over here trying to help his family out. so why don't we follow the law and, like, once again i called dr. tom coburn and told his secretary that i was a c-span listener and i was going to do this four different times. the republicans talk immigration, immigration and here it is his own backyard and he refuses to do anything about it because the republicans are for big farma, big oil, big
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companies and big gas. when it comes down to it, he doesn't want to do what's right. host: your response? guest: sure. i want to address his issues with his home state senator. but two points the kaler made i think are important. number one, illegal immigration and the problem of narcotics are often conjoined because they both end up affecting the border. but there are differences between them. people shouldn't think that solutions to immigration, be it comprehensive immigration reform or things we do on the border are necessarily solutions to the problem of narcotics. comprehensive immigration reform may suggest channelizing the flow of people who come here as temporary workers. it may towards people who are already here. that would not stop mexican drug cartels of attempting to move drugs across the border.
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it would reduce the -- it is important to separate those two and work silet enforcement is dee gaining control to our i mean -- work site enforcement is kee in gaining control to our immigration problem. we also will do nothing about the 10 million-12 million people who are already here illegally. at least half of them -- and this is important -- may not have snuck across the border but came here and overstayed their status and continued to perhaps work. so you will never do anything about those people no matter what you do tightening up the border. you will need to have a work
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site enforcement component and those are key elements to get ahold of the immigration problem. host: karen is calling on the independent line. from california. caller: thank you, and good morning. a two-parter. number one, where can we get the figures, the statistics of the work site enforcement? like how many customers have been fined? have gone to jail? and how many enforcement actions have there been? by months, if possible? and second, i've heard mr. o'bama and a few orpe candidates talk about the -- and a few other candidates talk about the comprehensive immigration reform, but what it means to go to the back of the line. where is that line? is it in mexico or honduras or
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where is it? >> sure. first on work siten enforcement statistics. -- work site enforcement statistics, immigration and customs enforcement, www.ice .gov i believe is the work site internet address. they work with aliens who are fugitives. so that's one source of information for the caller. when people talk about comprehensive immigration reform and the back of the line is they generally mean people who have come here illegally, if there's going to be a legal channel provided for them to get legal status that they don't end up ahead of those in u.s. consulates wherever the country is they are attempting to come here legally from.
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the normal process, of course,, if you're coming legally is to go and file petitions with the u.s. government. in the country you intend to come from and gain some sort of visa, whether it's a work visa or just a visa for travel or tourism so, i think that's what people generally mean when they talk about the end of the line, if you come here and the determination is to give them legal status that they end up behind those people who have worked through the legal process. host: would you pleals discuss the weapons on border security? a question. guest: sure. i think president coldiron when he was here talked about this quite a bit in public and private meetings and has been for the past couple of years about two big issues, the flow of weapons from the u.s. to
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mexico that end up in the hands of drug cartels as well as the flow of money southbound. the proceeds of those narcotics transactions. the u.s. has done more than ever in the last few years to focus on the the southbound problem. you know, our ports of entry, our enforcement resources are set up primarily to work south and end up coming across the border. we've devoted to things going south that might be possible conduits for cash, proceeds or narcotics or weapons that have been purchased with the intent of bringing them south to arm the drug cartels. >> sorry? host: dean, republican line. caller: good morning. host: good morning. caller: i have a question. i am wondering if we have any that tickets on how many islam
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-- if we have any statistics on how many islamic radicals have been caught trying to come across the mexican border into our country and if and when our next big attack on this country comes, and i'm talking about massive amounts of people being killed. we know it's going to happen, because we have governments past and definitely present that are not protecting us. that's why ammunition and gun sales in this country are up. they are up 37%. and i'm one of those that have increased my ammunition, and not do anything but protect my home and my family, and i'm just wondering are we going to -- when an attack happens, and somebody, an islamic radical is proven to have come through mexico, how many people are going to be bashing president
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bush about that? and that'sal basically all i have to say, and that's it, thanks for your answer. and have a good day. bye. guest: first of all, i think everybody should know c.d.p. was created as the unified border agency after 9/11 in 2003. its primary mission is to protect the country from the entry of terrorists and terrorist weapons. along with the rev knew collection, customs, but the primary focus from people being there, people wake up in the middle of the night and think about every morning and every night is the possibility of a terrorist entering through some part of our border. it's not a challenge just the southwest border, we're equally vulnerable on our northern borders, our maritime borders. so the people who think about this a lot are focused on
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radical islamic terrorists entering the country to do harm. we have intercept ad lot of people who didn't intend to do harm but fit within the genre. the place we're having to most coirnts with those people in the airports. so the airports continue to see where we see the most tide matches those are the ones who are flagged as having some sort of nexus to terrorism. so we see more of those people there. i don't have the statistics in front of me. but we should be vigilant lent on our southern and coastal borders for any of these vulnerabilities. because we know they will be exploidploited. we know terrorists will continue to probe and explore those possibilities. caller: hello, good morning to both of you. i'm a native californiain'. and i had to move to york,
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pennsylvania, because you could no longer get a job in southern california unless you were bilingual. no jobs. also california has gone bankrupt, because they have to have two teachers for every classroom. one that speaks spanish and one that speaks english rather than doing language emersion. so as far as a snapshot, like what you were talking about, as someone who lived there for over 25 years. something needs to be done. it's going to bankrupt all of the southern states that border mexico. >> and i think that that's part of what has driven the arizona laws. guest: the feel that they have been overwhelmed by successive waves of illegal immigration. it's not necessarily about what's happening on the border now as what's happened over the last couple of decades. and to the caller's point, i think that that goes back to the earlier caller about work
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site enforcement and interior enforcement, because what she's describing are issues that won't be prevented by our border preventing new people from coming here but established populations and whatever we do at the border does nothing to necessarily affect those populations. so we have to make determinations as a country about what the policy choices are to deal with those people. whether it's a sort of earned legalization. some say it's morr interior or work site enforcement. so that's a good point by the caller. host: is there in fact, a single thing that this nation can do to significantly increase security of its borders, or is it a mix of things? guest: it's a mix of things. if there were were an inexpensive or easy fix, we
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would have done it by now. it is help. it is not magic. we have determined cartels that go out there with car carriers and drive over it. they cut it with plasma torches. they tunnel under it. it does slow them down, though. and it riders the mix of the agents and technology that comes behind it. so i think the question is, susan, it takes a mix of those additional resources on the border itself. that's people technology and infrastructure. it takes work site enforcement. and it takes a determination about what we do with those already illegally here. whether we're going to have a temporary worker status for the legitimate labor needs of the country, and to the caller before, part of the challenge right now is when you're talking about 107 unemployment in the country, it's not a time when people want to hear about
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temporary worker program for people who are not citizens or illegal aliens to do jobs here that americans won't do. so i think the overall environment in terms of any type of comprehensive immigration investment much favorable now than it was perhaps in 2005, 2006, when it was last considered. host: you said the fence helped. has it helped in appropriation to i its cost? guest: i think so. when you look at some of the reductions that we've seen, now there were some areas of defense that were relatively inexpensive. and it all had to do with the terrain and challenges and erecting fences where it was needed. there were areas where we did not ethroket build a fence even though it was desired because it would have been prohibitively expensive. and when you look over the life
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span of that additional infrastructure that we've added and it's not just pedestrian fencing. some cases it's the object that to make sure people can drive across these borders in remote areas. if you get them on foot off much easier time apprehending people in those environments where it may be hours or days to the immediate road, so thoss things have begown pay off and will continue to pay off takeover life cycle of that fencing. but it certainly has become a great source of controversy. host: lakeside, california, you're next. gein. republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. well, first of all, i just want to say i am hispanic and i do support arizona's immigration laws. but i think that it would be even more widely supported if
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they would pass another piece of legislation that would prohibit every government -pagency and every school in arizona from doing business with any business that here's illegal aliens. that means no tyson's foods or smith field meets or contractors, guard inertia, construction workers, januarytorial services, no one that here's illegal aliens, i think that would give them much more widespread support. my question is. you know this thing about this proposal that comes up about path to citizenship and giving am me the city all these illegal -- am nesty amnesty to
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all these illegal immigrants will give them access to the help of the government and president obama said he wouldn't allow that. guest: the federal government has law that is say the contractors have to comply with a number of things among them not hiring illegal workers. so there are laws, the question is enforcing them. these work site compliance law that is require customers not to hire illegal aliens. on the caller's point about health care and citizenship, i don't know the answer to that, but certainly a big part of this debate is if you do offer some sort of legal status, what are the costs in terms of public benefits for those who then end up with that status? there have been various
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proposals to from they are not eligible for some services to full coverage. so that's definitely going to be part of the debate if we see immigration reform come up in congress. what public costs and benefits are going to be conveyed to those who get some sort of legal status under this program? host: final calls to washington, d.c. this is the chris. independent line. caller: how are you doing? i have big question for you. i think every man, woman and child should pay arizona for doing their job. arizona stepped up to the plate and said hey, look, we need to do something about it and send texas and every state that is supposed to be taking care of these borders. forget the government. o'bama's not going to step up. he has not been able to do anything under this administration. so what we need to do is take care of texas, take care of arizona, and that will control
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these borders. that's it. what do you got to say about that? guest: well there is federal aid that just goes directly to the states and municipalities that are impacted by illegal immigration like stone guard which does pay over time for local sheriffs or state police. but i think the caller is making a point that many people in the country feel the same way, that we are not doing enough, and that more resources need to go to the southwest border until we get a handle on this problem. and while we have made significant progress, in most people's minds, we're not there yet. so to the caller's point, it's going to be not necessarily be a necessarily a voluntary sending of comments to these states but additional state resources and additional aid to mexico, frakely that is going
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to be a long-term investment. it's not going to be involved in one year, perhaps in one decade. it will require a sustained commitment we cannot walk away from. the progress we made is good but if we begin to say it's good enough and reduce our resources to border enforcement and immigration enforcement, then we'll be right back at that problem again. we've seen that where we gone through several years of a rush to get additional enforcement resources to the border and then a decade worth of inactivity and stagnant resources. we can't do that again. >> we'll meet in the white house to discuss the new border security. we thank our guest thad bengal to discuss this. thank you. we'll be right back and in our next segment you'll feet in gentleman who for 21 years in his life has learned about
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fisherman and talk about about about this and the oil spill but first a news update from c-span radio. >> 8:31 here in washington, d.c. in the hingse, retailers are reporting tepid business in may. after cool weather and fresh concerns about the economy caused shopers to cut spending on clothing and other non-essentials. the new report from mastercard adviseors spending pulse did find online spending was a bright spot, rising by double digit percentages for a sixth month in a row. robert gibbs saying a colorado democrat did not get a job offer in return for dropping out of a senate race oye posed by a friend of the president. he was asked if he was still interested and the conversation
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ended when he said he was committed to the senate race. bp will try to use what amounts to large sheers to trite to finish cutting pipes on the blownout oil well before trying to cap the gusher. while that happens the oil slick is getting close err to the white sands of the panama panhandle. more on the oil spill coming up in a moment on the "washington journal." and finally the head of the international air transport association says the aviation industry could recover from the mick downturn within two years. this is even after the volcanoic ash crises took an estimated billion-dollar pilot out of the revenue. and also cautioned, quote, we have two speeds. that's because economic growth remains sluggish in europe, even as it accelerates in the u.s. and asia. those are some of the latest
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headlines on c-span radio. >> this week, watch book tv in prime time. today with former gold gold -- goldman sachs managing director and losing our religion the liberal media's attack on christianty. tammy bruce on the death of right and wrong. and piper kerrman on her experience in the american legal system. orange is the new black, my year in a woman's prison. book tv on c-span two. >> "washington journal" continues. host: on your screen is a gentleman by the name of brian o'neal. he is someone who has spent 21 years of his professional life as an attorney representing 32,000 alaskan fisherman and natives in their quest for damages and repneumonia ration from the exxon valdez oil spill
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what lessons can we learn from that experience to apply to what's happening in the gulf today? >> well, the first thing you learn is that if you're going to extract and transport oil, there's going to be catastrophic spills, and that's because people are in charge of the extraction and transportation of oil. the second thing is where the oil goes, nobody knows. in the case of the valdez, everybody thought the oil would go southeast, and it goes northwest. and it went a tremendous distance, a distance of about the length of theewest coast of the united states. so where the oil goes, you don't know. what it does, you don't know. its impact on different kinds of beaches, its impact on marsh lands and different creatures are all unknown. for example, in alaska.
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in alaska oil impacted fishing seasons for about three years, but five or six or seven years after the spill it became a narnte oil had decimated, forever, a herring in prince william's sound. so the impact of oil on creatures and ecosystem sincere a big unknown. its impact on businesses. on fisherman businesses and hotel businesses is an unknown. you don't know how long the oil is going to last or what its impact is going to be on your business. in order to figure that out, you need to wait a number of because the impacts of an oil spill are odd. and it also has odd impacts on communities. if a community is a resource-based community, fishing is a good example, and
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there is a man-made disaster, like, bp or like exxon. people take it very hard, and they tend not to get over the disaster until they get their full measure of justice. so you see, in coastal commuents in alaska that were subject to the spill, the increased rates of alcoholism, depression. divorce, bankruptcy. tax problems. and even 21 years after the spill today, if you were to go into a coffee shop or a bar in an outstate town in south central alaska, it's as if the spill happened yesterday. so the intacts are widespread. you can't tell what they are going to be now. and you can't even tell where the oil is going to go now. host: as we get started here, we want to remind miami we have
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statistics from television in anchorage to remind us of the size and zope estimated 10.8 million gallons spilled covering 11,000 square piles, and an estimate of the number of animals killed by that spill include 250,000 to half a million sea birds, 1,000 otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 balanced eaglls, billions of samen and herring eggs and 22 orca whales. let's move to the traject roy of the legal history, because it helped stet stage about what might proceed here and how what happens here might effect it. the spill was in 1989 in prince williams' sound and by 1981 -- 1991 they had settled claims. five years later, civil case baker versus exxon an alaska
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jury awarded $5 billion to 3 the,000 fishermen. december, two a u.s. appeals court reduced those damages to $4 billion, exxon appeals and the court raises it to $4. 5. damages cut to $2.5 billion and june of 2008 the united states squort got involved ruleing the civil damages would be limitted to $507 million. let's start with that final figure of the supreme court ruling. what did that mean for the 32,000 defendants and the plaintiffs in the case. how much did they get in the end? >> the total amount that the plaintiffs got was about $1.3 billion. that included $500 million worth of interest. because it took them 21 years to wage this war against the exxon corporation. and it was a long and costly war. we spent over $200 million in
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time and $30 million in cash. over 2 is years and i think exxon probably spent north of $100 million litigateing the matter. the conclusions i come away with are if you litigate with a big oil company, they can spend enough money to make you bleed through the years. and the second conclusion is justice is a long ways away. we've lost upwards of 20% of our clients. they are dead. and many others lives are in dis array, and this money would have helped to put them back in play. and the money would have provided them with a sense of justice. host: we can understand where exxon would have that had money to defend itself. where did you get the money to prosecute the case? >> the lawyers takeover years -- the lawyers, over the years,
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contributed with the hopes that in the end we would win. so for 21 years we were living on our credit cards. host: and would you do it again? guest: it's disruptive to your life. it's disruptive to your professional life. it's very narrowing to work on one matter for 21 years. but you're going to law school place, and this was my one chance to make the world a better place. so my answer to your question is, yes. host: with the arrival of the attorney general on the scene this week, anticipating of course, bp's parts that there will be all sorts of damages sauth, perhaps even criminal ones, what are you observing to -- observing bp to do to position themselves for criminal charges? >> i don't think they are doing no such position themselves. they make contributery statements and qualified statements.
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by qualified statements i mean you say, well, we'll pay all legitimate claims. think think you just say we'll knows it's legitimate claims. i think bp is not in as much trouble as people think it is for a couple of reasons. the first is even though attorney general and the state attorney generals are saying we're going to prosecute or take at the prosecution of bp and sue it for natural resources. we saw it in alaska and it took two years for exxon to come to a cheap and me to negotiateuated government. the government doesn't have the ability to fight it and i don't think the government does. and there's a stra t.j. i can element to -- i'm not sure
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anyone would want to do anything to disrupt bp no matter what bp did. and the third thing is unless a business man actually steals money from people, there's always been a reluctantens in the court system and by prosecuters to put a white businessman in a suit in jail. so the criminal stuff, i don't know wheee it's going to go. the civil stuff, that is fisherman around hotel owners and states suing bp for damage sincere in all likelihood going to be another 20-year nuclear war, and i think people ought to get used to that thought and hunker down. >> whenal all the dust settled how much money went into the mockets of an individual fisherman in the case of 21 years waiting. an estimate? >> if you owned your own boit
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and permit about $60,000 $65,000. if you were a deck hand on a boat, $10,000, $8,000. host: and do you have a reaction to that abard? -- to that award. to that award? guest: i was shocked when the supreme court took the punitive damage away in 2008. and so were my clients, and the amount of money my clients got was not enough to make them whole and not enough to give them think sense again that jits was done. host: well, folks, you have heard brian o'neal and heard the top line of his 21-year legal saga being involved, on bhaffs of many of tens of thousands of the exxon valdez spill, we would like to hear your questions or comments as it relate totts gulf of mexico oil spill.
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very anxious to hear your questions or comments on lessons learned and if you'd like more detail about what happened in the exxon valdez legal prosecution. let's begin with a telephone call from texas. this is rick on the democrats line. good morning. caller: good morning to you. host: yes, sir, your questions or comments? caller: one comment is i grew up in southeast, louisiana. for then you have what they call bum rushes which isn't really moss but ma they call kane. and there's actually no actual bottom. and that will never be clean. there's no way -- that was one
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of the biggest places, bass, and everything grow. and i'm going to give you an example of the oil companies. i grew up in an area of venezuela called the wagon wheel held up by texaco started in 1955, the year i was born. and that area has been destroyed. there are pits every where. where they lost things and they tried to sue them i'm guessing in the color to -- and you can go out there today and can't even catch the fish because they have sores and you can't eat them because they actually taste like oil, so if anybody thinks big oil is going to do anything about this, they are totally out of their mind. thank you. host: your reaction to the long-term effects of oil spills. guest: well, i agree with what he said and he captured an awful lot of the truth.
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on all of these on the mississippi dealta. i've heard 25% to 50% of all the wetlands in the united states are going to be devastating. it's going to have impact on things we have no idea relies on the mississippi delta. and you can't clean oil up there. once it gets in there. it kills what's there, and the world's the less for it. host: lakewood, california, danny, independent line. caller: thank god for c-span. i love c-span. now i was wondering what environmental laws can actually be enforced right now mple? and like in instances of in -- like in imminent domain, can the government just come in and take over bp's operation and profit and take full control
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just to get thing done? thank you. guest: there are two questions. the first is what environmental odds come into play? bp can be prosecuted under the refuse act passed in 1989 which prohibits putting things in the water. the clean watt err act passed in 1972 and the migratory bird treaty act. but again, i don't think those are going to have much impact on b.p. at all. because i think the government will settle them out cheaply. the state governments may have similar laws but i don't think the state got to thes have the resources to fight with bp. the second part of the question was can the government take over bp right now and essentially attempt to stop the continuing spewing of oil from
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the bottom of the snoge i don't think they can take over bp. ethink they can federalize the response to the spill completely if they want to and go in and try stop it themselves, but the problem is the government doesn't know how to stop an i'll spill, and bp doesn't know how to stop an oil spill either, which is kind of interesting, because we made deal with bp and ewith made a deal with champion that you can come in and take the people's oil. that oil doesn't belong to bp. it's in the ground. the deal is you can come in and take the people's oil and make so much money that the wealth is incredible. but in the return, you provide it to us and in a safe manner and a manner in which if you hurt people, you pay them for their hurt. they didn't go it in a safe manner, and i >> next telephone call is from
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irving kentucky. good morning, gary. you're on the air. caller: yes. thanks for having me on, and i've always been a big c-span fan. i would like to ask mr. o'neal the whole thing about the drilling, like, this far down, it seems to me the whole thing is, like, premeditated to a sense that they had no plan when all this -- when the oil started to flow, to clean this mess. it started with the compensation and two, mr. o'neal, what's the military doing about this or are they doing anything at automatic? -- at all?
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host: can you help the caller? guest: yes. i have a couple of observations. first is the caller makes a very good point. an engineer how can figure out how to go down a mile under the ocean and extract oil. but that's a huge tech in a logical challenge. but they figured out how to extract which is the second part of the challenge, they never really addressed, because to do things a mile down into the water requires technology that apparently we don't have. you would think if they were going to do that, they would have wait ad couple more years until they were able to tpwhilled enough redunden as i into the built mechanisms so that we would be safe. part of the reason is our fault. and that is the demand for oil is so huge that commanies are willing to go out and take chances with our safety in order to feed our appetite for
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oil. but the it's their fault, because they shouldn't be doing it unless they know how to shut it off. so that's the first part of the caller's comment. the military is involved in so far as the coast gard is involved. and i've always been of the view, and i'm especially of the vy now that the coast guard is too cozy with the industry. you see press conferences and you think about what you've seen in the last couple of weeks is they are like brothers in arms together in this ting thing. the regulatory arm of the government, the m.m.f., the coast guard, those who were supposed to ensure our safety were asleep at the wheel. but they are always asleep at the wheel. end of comment. host: actually, without necessarily a comment, in the
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financial times this morning there was among its many stories among aspects of the oil spill there was this one written, just wanted to share it with the you had a yeps, oil major is now forced to tack al public rellings disaster and here's what it says. on tupes evening, the executive was having dinner in a new orleans restaurant with thad allen when they were interrupted by james carval. the legendary democrat and never having been introduced, mr. hayward and carval spent the next 20 minutes symptoms sometimes heatedly agreing to disagree about the nature of the operation to contain the disaster threatening to ruin the latter's native louisiana and two the two then agreed to meet again in the same restaurant this time next year, it was terse but poll light to mr. carval and gave my skept
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criticism to what he was promising. goich i started off talking tenant uncertainties of oil spills. there is a certainty to an oil spill, though in that once the oil is spilled, you really can't clean it up. exxon spent $2 billion. in its cleanup activities and cleaned up anywhere between 8% and 12% of the oil it spilled which i find an astounding procedure. but they had the advantage of rock beaches and the advantages of a relatively contained area in prince william sound, although the oil eventually escaped and goes all the way to the alaska peninsula. here the mess is bigger. it's more oil. it's the gulf of mexico, which is a huge body of water. and you don't have the luxury of stone-covered beaches.
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sort of shell-covered beaches. it's going to be in swamps. it's going to be in all kinds of marsh lands and wetlands and on sandy beaches and you can't pick it up with skimmers. effectively you can't boom it all off. the only real interesting proposal i've seen with with regards of save these wetlands is the state of louisiana to build these sand -- out out of promise. but history teaches us once the oil is spilled, you're not picking it up. host: remember canne line you're on for brian o'neal. caller: hello? hi. i read something the other day, jay pepper asked o'bama at some press conference that there was some 17 countries that offered to help with the cleanup and
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o'bama only accepted mexico's help and norway -- other countries had started to help with backings, why would we not accept any help to start cleaning this up? or is it even possible to start vacuuming up some oil before it keeps spreading any further? guest: well, a couple of comments. first of all, you can't just go out there and vacuum up the oil. some of it is under water. some of it is in a high-energy environment. and it covers such a huge area, that it's sort of like throwing a dart at the side of a football stadium. so that's the first problem. but you do need to try. and if i was in charge, i would accept all the help i could get.
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but again, i find the prospect bheak. once -- bleak. once it's spilled, it's spilled. host: you thought there was too cozy a relationship between the oil companies and it's been read about military corruption. slain explain the law. do americans have any recourse against agencies enjoined with protecting them where there might be corruption or mismanagement? >> the answer to the question is no. as a general proposition, the agencies are charged by law and their answerible to the president, and they are not in any legal sense, answerable to us. host: good morning. rocket -- given exxon valdes
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was essentially not held accountible for anything, and bp's mess will be more of the same, and the magnitude of these environmental crimes, wouldn't history suggest an armed overthrow of some of these corporations and let their accountability with government will be -- guest: think of observation on the commencht. and that is in the valdes case where the supreme court comes in at the end anddbasically bails out exxon, it causes ordinary folk, fishermen, me, native alambingens, to lose their faith in the -- alaskans to lose their faith in the justice system of america.
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so the tracks from the goodwill that our governmental institutions have, it takes away from their legitimacy when the court system comes in and bails out a big player. an exxon or a bp. and that is not healthy for america. host: what was the prevailing argument with the majority of baker versus exxon? guest: the prevailing argument was that the award was just too big. host: on what ground? guest: that it was just too big. host: what constant constitute it is grounds for that? guest: well it said in big oil spills the ratio is going to be one-to-one for compensatories against punitive, but that i go nors 250 years of anglo sacksen
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injuries prunes. you know there's a court you find in the bible and english common law and they come to america. they are part of the law at the time of the revolution. and they have been with us in all other aspects of the common law since the signing of the republic. it is the first time anyone's ever -- and the justification, if you'll read the opinion, the justification essentially is we think it's too big. and we're making it up as we go. host: let me tell you a little bit more about brian o'neal, in addition to his long legal career, he served from 1969 to 1979 in the u.s. army obtaining the rank of captain and then served as the stapt to the general council to the department of the army. he's joiningtous talk about
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about his work of 21 years and representing plaintiff -- as the gulf gusher continues. next is lions, illinois. this is a call from al on our democrats' line. caller: thank you. it's a beautiful day. .
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guest: it was split along political lines the same way that g ore v bush was split along political lines. host: next call, robert, a republican line. caller: good morning. how is everybody this morning? i had two issues, but i want to comment on the previous comment. with respect to the two -- the three truitt centrists, i would be interested to know who he considers the three centrist but the court is not split between centrists and rightists. it is split between rightists and progressives, and want centrist -- one centers to seems toogo one way or the other.
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with respect to the oil is bill kampai -- the oil skill, on the issue that is central as compensation for the losses, creating the losses, is not the federal government bearing a certain amount of culpability as well, since they had in place a plan to print the oil and they had no boots available -- burn the oil and they had no boons available. it is not best for the environment, but it is better than the dispersants. with respect to the government takeover of the industry, how can they do that under the constitution? can you talk about of the rising to federal government as opposed to the state government -- authorizing the federal government as opposed to the state government to do anything? we don't need more government jobs. we need less government jobs
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and more in the private sector. we taxpayers are furnishing all this money for nothing to the banking industry's who are not doing their job, just as the fed or government is not doing their job at the borders -- just as the federal government is not doing their job at the borders. host: we are moving beyond the oil spill. burning the oil? guest: you cannot burn that much oil. booms -- there are not enough in the world for a spill this size. with regard to the split on the supreme court, it is very interesting. the caller made an interesting point. however, in this case, roberts and scalia and the conservatives were the ones who changed the law. they were the judicial activists who came in and changed to water to a year's worth of anglo-saxon law to bail out an oil, --
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changed 250 years worth of anglo-saxon law to bailout and oil company. federalizing the spill does not mean federalizing bp. it means pushing bp aside and going in and trying to fix the problems. the issue there, though, is that the government has no expertise at all with regard to stopping this rupture on the skin of the planet, and it appears bp doesn't either. host: would you hope to be involved in any litigation against bp? guest: i don't know whether i'm going to be involved yet. it would depend on who asks me and what the scope of the deployment is. having spent 21 years representing fishermen and natives, i might find it to harbor to get back into that
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business. with regard to -- might find it to heartbreaking to get back into that business. with regard to a state or federal agency, i might be interested. host: would do it expanded why you might find it too hard braking? -- would you expand on why you might find it too hard braking? guest: the fishing business is not like a guy sitting on the end of the dock. the entire family often works in the business, and friends work in the business. when you undertake a representation, you are assuming responsibility for fixing their problems. a lot of lawyers say you are not, but you are. for 21 years, we work on it, and my friends and i worked on this thing, and we tried the case for half a year, we go to the
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appeals court time after time after time, only to have it snatched away by the political supreme court. you go back to the clients and say, "i'm sorry, i did not fix your problem, i did not bring you the justice that i thought i could bring you." that is one aspect of it. now, the other aspect -- host: bill ahead, please. guest: it is hard to work on one thing for 21 years. host: just for your own professional concentration and development. guest: yes, it is. how would you like to cover one story for 21 years? it would drive you nuts. host: with the cyclical nature of washington, we do come back to things regularly. it is interesting. our next caller for brian
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o'neill, who is with us for 21 minutes. caller: there is no reason why folks in our government who were criminally negligent, who knew what they were doing, should not be in prison. in fact, they should be awaiting trial. i might also add that members of congress were being lobbied by big oil to make sure that there was not a relief well built at the same time. in canada, when they build one of these wells, they have to build a relief well at the same time. the congress people knew very well what is happening, and if there is any monetary ties, they should be held civilly responsible. what finally might solve this is the horrible prospect of this oil drifting to south and central america and them is suing us because we owned the leases, we are the landlords. if they could sue us, that might put an end to this.
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these folks should be in prison right now and not just fixing attention to go to prison -- not just fixing henchmen to go to prison. guest: i agree with the sentiment of everything the caller said. i don't see anybody going to jail, because it is just the nature of things that they want. they should, but they won't. the oil is going to impact other countries. it is going to hit cuba, hit mexico, the east coast of florida, and there will be lawsuits. how the loss of mexico and cuba will be resolved under international -- the lawsuits of mexico and cuba will be resolved under international law is going to have some impact on bp, but our enough to weahere
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dependence on oil is impacted in any way. exxon and bp have a special relationship with all the governments of the world because they provide oil and oil runs the world. host: the caller mentioned canada. "the globe and mail," which calls itself canada's nacional newspaper, as a story on offshore drilling. drilling will continue off newfoundland at record that spirit as the bp disaster grows, canada's -- at record depths. as the disaster grows, canada's oil drilling faces scrutiny. independent line. good morning, caller. are you there? caller: yes, i am.
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it has taken this fine gentleman 21 years to figure out roof of what we all knew -- proof of what we all knew would be the result of the major oil spill. the damage caused by it will never be redressed. we will live with it forever. two, there will be no justice served by this fascist government of ours. our only salvation right now is to stop the spill. this still could be stopped and it could be stopped by our military. it is a nine-inch diameter hole in it solid rocket that hole could be included -- nine-inch- diameter hole in solid bed rock. that hole to be imploded and
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plucked. they are waiting to bring in another rig 15,000 feeds into bedrock so that they can cap the well at the bottom of the dead rock. the military is our only hope. if this country ever needed a military coup right now, and now is the time for its. the people would back them up. they need to take back his fascist government and turned this country back to the people. host: any comments for that caller? guest: yes, i do have a comment, and it is that it did not take me 21 years to learn that the court system would not provide justice. i thought it would when i started, i thought it would when i went to law school, when i graduated from law school, when i started this in 1989.
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i thought in the end that the court system would give alaskans the full measure of justice, and it did not. with regard to the military and its ability t, i just don't kno. host: final call is from san diego. republican line. caller: mr. o'neill, thank you for your service. well, the caller basically took my question. can the military plug the hole? i heard a couple of days into this that the military had the possibility of imploding it and capping it, and that bp would not have the opportunity to rein drill, and they would lose billions of dollars. you can see from the appearance of the ceo that it just goes to prove -- the ignorance of the ceo that it just goes to prove that this was just about money. they did not allow any outside,
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independent contractors in, because they wanted to save the well. do you think this will back up to be be? -- do you think this will bankrupt bp? i heard they went back over $1 a share yesterday. how is that? guest: two good questions. i don't think it will bankrupt bp. bp, in an average year, their net profits would be $5 billion or $6 billion a year. the other thing you have tt remember is how oil companies report their profits is different. they make an awful lot of money countries and in the united states they get oil depletion allowances. i don't think it is going to bankrupt them. i don't think the federal government, unfortunately, would allow it to back up to them,
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because they provide oil, and oil bonds our universe -- oil runs out universe. the second question -- i have forgotten the second question. host: it was related to how their stock at gone up yesterday. guest: in 1994, when we started the exxon vaadez trial, the exxon stock was down. on september 16 of 1994, when we got a $5 billion verdict against exxon, the stock went up, and the stock has gone up since then, because $5 billion, despite what the supreme court says, was nothing to exxon. the stock is not a pretty consistently since then. i should have bought -- the stock has gone up pretty consistently since then. i should of bought stock that
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day of the trial. i cannot bring myself to do it. host: did you change your consumption habits? guest: yes. i used to be a guy with a lot of cylinders, and i don't anymore. i think the only long-term resolution of this problem is tucked cut down on -- is to cut down on our energy consumption. we can all do that. host: brian o'neill has been joining us from minneapolis this morning. sharia talking about his role as the lead attorney -- we have been talking about his role as lead attorney in the case of exxon valdez, the alaskan fishermen and natives who brought the civil suit against exxon, and the 21-year trajectory of that suit. thank you for joining us on c- span this morning. nice to meet you. guest: thank you. host: yesterday a group
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representing governors and state school chiefs laid out a detailed blueprint about possibly forming in national soul is not english and math standards. -- national syllabus on english and math standards. dennis van roekel of the national education association will join us to talk about these issues. >> new numbers out on the economy. the labor department is reporting that first-time claims for unemployment benefits dropped by 10,000 last week to 453,000. in a separate report, the government says that productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.8% in the january- through-march period. that is slower than previously thought, but also a possible sign that businesses are reaching the limits of their ability to boost output with fewer workers, and might be hiring more. illegal emigration --
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illegal immigration will be on the agenda today when president obama meets with arizona gov. jan brewer at the white house. opponents of the arizona immigration law will be protesting outside the white house about the governor and what they call "president obama's half what it leadership on immigration reform -- half- hearted leadership on immigration reform." secretary of defense robert gates says he is disappointed that china withdrew an invitation to a proposed visit that he hoped would single starter ties -- stronger ties between the countries and military said. in chicago, jury selection starts today in the trial of former governor of illinois, robert blagojevich -- rod blagojevich.
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finally, the 83rd scripps national spelling bee is being held in washington. spellers around the world are vying for the winner's trophy and a cash prize. a 14-year-old from alabama started things off this morning by correctly spelling " serendipity." those are the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> we have a three nude c-span books for you, "abraham lincoln -- three new c-span books for you, "abraham lincoln," "the supreme court," and "who is buried in grant's tomb?" each one is also a great gift idea for father's day. >> "washington journal"
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continues. host: let me introduce you to the president of the national education association, dennis van roekel. he began his teaching career as a high school math teacher at paradise valley high school in phoenix, arizona. welcome to the program. guest: thank you. host: let me start with your reaction to the governors and state school chiefs' blueprint for what might be a national syllabus on english and math standards. guest: we think is important to have a common chord standards. the important distinction is that it is that from the national level, but 48 states that have agreed -- that is not from the national level, but 48 states that have agreed on that standards. host: who are the two states that opted out? guest: off the top of my head i
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cannot tell you that r. host: maybe i can find it for you. why does it matter to have a court standards? guest: i think it is important that, number one, one at a work together on this and talking to some of the state cheap school officers, they are trying to make them consistent -- chief school officers, they are trying to make them consistent and more concise. all students have an opportunity to learn what they need to know to be successful in the 21st century and it is a global economy. it is very important that there be standards for all students, no matter where you live. host: the core standards connect with the obama administration's race to the top initiative. can you comment on that? guest: they call for higher standards, a career- and college-ready standards.
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another at this is of the administration is to have students college -and career- ready by 2010. host: another story in "the washington post," a local story for national, because the editorial-page suggests potential national implications. "district teachers approve contract. district of columbia teachers ratified a new contract on wednesday that expands kasler michelle rhee's initiatives -- chancellor michelle rhee's initiative to remove part teacher -- poor teachers and places washington on a growing list of cities and states that established results and not seniority as the standards by which teachers are paid to read
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the contract was the product of two and half years of contentious negotiations, with one of the tax initiatives historically resisted by unionized -- with unorthodox initiatives historically resisted by unionized teachers. it gives salaries comparable to those in surrounding suburban districts. it breaks new ground in the extraordinary pace of change and a national education policy that in some ways has overtaken the document itself." what are your thoughts on this? guest: it is very important that we do this at the local level. some of the conversation is that we should mandate at the federal level how we pay and evaluate employees. i think that is micromanagement from the federal level. but it is important that at the local level they talk about what
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is a good compensation system, how we recruit and retain the kinds of teachers that we need, and we need a lot in the years ahead. no one wants a bad teacher in the classroom. everyone wants a caring, competent teacher. we are interested in building good evaluation systems. if there are inadequacies in what i know or the skills i have, make sure i know what they are and give me a chance to improve. if i cannot or will not, i should not be there. host: let me give you the phone numbers as we discuss education. effective education in the united states, and the role of teachers in that process. new jersey is one of those states were a protracted
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discussion has been held about effectiveness of teachers. let us listen to comments in that state. >> there are 5 million children trapped in failing public schools in america. i use the word "trapped" directly. they are trapped by a bureaucracy, a self interested, agreed school union that cares more about putting money in their own pockets and the pockets members than they care about educating our most vulnerable and needy children across the country. host: reaction? guest: a lot of finger pointing, a lot of blame. education in america that is not what it should be. it is the responsibility of all of us. the idea that you can point
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fingers and blame one group does not make sense. there are 3.2 million members of my organization and they are on the line every single day. they are not giving speeches at lunches. they are in classrooms every single day dealing with these challenges -- kids who come to school without the most incredible circumstances and obstacles in their way -- with the most incredible circumstances and obstacles in their weight. they pack at baxter gift foods over the weekend -- pack backpacks with fruit over the weekend. it will take all of us to make sure that every child gets a good education, and they deserve it, no matter where you live or who you are. host: the governor of new jersey is not alone in criticizing teachers unions in particular for putting concerns about tenure over concerns about
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excellence. guest: i think part of it is finger-pointing and blamed. 3.2 million people work in public schools. there is no difference between the teacher and the union member. i am a union member but i was a high-school math teacher for years but i did -- i was a high-school math teacher for years. i remember my first year teaching, and i really believe that if i cared enough and work hard enough, i could deliver everything students needed. you could soon -- but you soon realize that not everything is possible. i need a way to advocate for students in my classroom, for their needs and what i should provide as a teacher. i am proud that we can to get as professionals and an organization and said that we -- came together as professionals and ein an
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organization. host: we would love to hear from teachers, and we would also like to hear from school administrators and parents who are part of the process. if you have served on the school board and would like to weigh in on our discussion about excellence in american schools, please join us. you can send a message by twitter or e-mail or call by phone. cleveland, midge on the republican line. caller: thank you for taking my call. there was someone -- i'm sorry, i don't remember the name of the person -- who was on as a guest who said that the base salary of a teacher with a master's degree in education was $34,000 a year. i know that is some kind of an average. that does not sound like a whole lot my daughter has a master's in english and is basically looking as -- basically working as a secretary for that pay now,
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although she would like to teach. another problem is discipline. it was that guy in the movie " lean on me" -- a true story, he was a principal -- and his discipline methods were sometimes criticized, but he was able to turn the school around. i have a friend who taught in cleveland public schools, and towards the end of her career, the 1990's, she was worried about getting home safely as an honors level teacher in english. in all the years that she taught, towards the end, she was pretty much in fear for her life. teachers are on the firing line and i totally agree with you, but at the same time, my youngest is in college now, and at the university level, they are saying that students are not prepared in english. they cannot write. you just have the perspective of
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my oldest being 26, and these same problems going on, what is it about this basic language skills that people -- that kids are not getting, and at the university level, they are doing remedial -- host: i have to jump in. you have given us a lot of different topics there. she asked about average salaries for teachers starting at $34,000. guest: national average is $40,000, but it varies from state to state, district to district. -- national average is $48,000, but it varies from state to state, district to district. it is a full-time, year-round of job. it points out why the schools themselves cannot solve all the problems. it is a community effort at takes collaboration. one of the places that is positive is syracuse, new york.
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there is a foundation that involves the mayor's office and all the different parts of government to say, how do we remove obstacles for children to succeed? i think it's a wonderful model. it takes the parents and community and all those entities. the partnership and cooperation is absolutely key. host: many school districts are making decisions because of state budget shortfalls about teacher layoffs, and there is also the discussion about the teacher bailout package. what is the nea's position? guest: it is really about kids. it is about changing the circumstances. without this bill, at anywhere up to 300,000 layoffs, elimination of summer school, in some districts, a shortened
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school weeks. the consequences are really dire. this is a critical prices for states. the majority of funding comes from the state government. from state to state, this crisis is hitting state lawmakers but really impacting education. it is helpful for the federal government to assist in that . host: what is the relationship between class size and performance? guest: i can tell you as a classroom teacher that it makes our real difference. most of the classrooms i talked, i do not know where you would put 45 desks. i can teach that many at a time, but my methods have to change. there is no way i can give the individual attention and answer the questions and give the kinds of individual support that i believe i should be given to students when there are 40 or 45 in the classroom. it makes a huge difference in learning. one of the most powerful studies
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come in tennessee, one a variable is that they do students by lottery, teachers by lottery, they lower castes sli -- they lower class-size in k-33 high school 0 graduation rates higher than all of their -- lower class-size k-three. high-school graduation rates are higher than all of their peers. host: dennis van roekel is head of the n. -- nea. peter, independent-m line . caller: teachers is like the ultimate public service. a couple of concerns. first off, financing for schools should be equal all the way
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around. it should not be taxed based or local based or within the district. every school should be getting the same amount of funding. it should not be based on money. one district having a higher tax bracket and whatever else -- it should be exactly the same. host: are you suggesting nationwide or state what? caller: it should be on the state level, not on the national level. it is the state's responsibility, and unfortunately, our federal government is already taxed out. if we get micromanaged to unbelievable amounts and keep doing it that way -- another thing is that as far as math and science goes, we are not point to get very much farther unless we do something about the whole evolution and creation debate we have. that puts us in a lot of the bible belt states and is going to -- we are not go to get very
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much farther than that. the last thing i have to say is that i have to say that our education system right now -- we should be able to go to a private school, we should have the option to go to a private school. taxes paid for this and that, but we should get our money back. i went to a private school and my kids went to a public school and i pulled them out and sent them to a private school. that is pretty much where i am at. host: we will take that. he will finance it across states. -- equal financing across states. guest: that is our real challenge. courts have ruled that they have to come up with more equitable funding.
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by the way, peter, i started teaching just down the road from you. incredible attention and value placed on education. but the funding issue is one that will continue with us, and will take policy makers to really tackle that. about 10% of the funding for schools comes from the federal level. the rest comes from state and local. figuring out an equitable system is our real challenge a state by state. -- is our real challenge state- by-state. host: the next question was on the evolution question. i wonder if you would parlay into that the debate over textbooks in texas. guest: the reason that so many people pay attention is the number of textbooks as they buy, and they believe that they have real influence on what publishers put in textbooks. hopefully, that will be resolved and we will go back to having a
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good, solid curriculum for all students. you talk about four standards, started off with mathematics and english and read -- core standards, starting off with mathematics and english and reading. we have to ask ourselves, what is it that our students need to know and be able to do? very different from 50 years ago. coming up with standards, whether they be in history, english, math, science, that is very critical. host: i think, if i read this "wall street journal" article correctly, some states are pushing back. texas gov. rick perry said on tuesday that federal officials were trying to undermine state authority to determine how students are educated. and of virginia students drop out of rice to the top last week, citing similar concern. guest: the states still have to decide whether they want to follow the standards.
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in education, there is a connection that is very critical. you have to define the standards. you have to match the curriculum that actually teaches what you want to know based on the standards. the third leg of that stool that is so critical is the assessments that measures the right things. in two different places, one group decides the standards and sommone else to flights -- someone else decides with the standards is and someone else -- someone else decides what the assessment is. it is an important step for all policy makers to make. host: another of the colors of the rations was public money -- another of the caller's observations was vouchers for schools. guest: some of those public schools are not providing what students need. it amazes me in this country --
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the dropout rate in our country does not fluctuate like the dow jones average. it has stayed consistent for the past 25 years. somewhere around 25%. if you are hispanic or black, it is much higher than that. tolerates that. we cannot afford to lose that resource of these young people. the purpose of public education is to ensure that every child has a fair shot at the american dream. education is what we need. as we look to our future in building it, it is going up in a small town -- as i was growing up in a small town, my teachers ago, thehere everyone means are there for getting there. i want that for every student in america. every student ought to have a
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needs and give them a shot at the american dream. host: our next, it is from california, rough on the democrats' line. -- ralph on the democrats' line. caller: thank you very much for c-span and thank you for taking my call. i'm a college professor of economics, and i taught in middle school in my previous career. i have some kid-12 experience, too. -- k-12 experience, too. i just want to ask the guest what he thinks what influences the level of teaching -- it is not just teacher quality, but also the interaction of the family, the nutrition of the student, and being an economist, the resource allocation from our society.
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i was educated before california's prop. 13, and what prop. 13 hit, that was a sea change in the quality of education in my state, i can tell you that. people decided they wanted more money in the personal accounts than they did in their social or public goods like education. finally, i would like this reaction on this debate about tenure, which i think it's just stupid. tenure does not provide that teachers from being fired. it only gives them due process when discipline is taken on them. i would like to hear the guest's thought on those points. host: i am sure it feels like a test. we are getting multi part questions from everybody this morning. the contribute factors of education, allocation of resources and that sort of thing. guest: i totally agree with the
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caller. it is multiple factors. he an economist, i know fi knows that it is a collaborative effort. the community -- it is very important that we reach out to parents. we have to change the definition of parental involvement. sometimes people assume that it is only when you go to school. it lot of it is that conversation parents have with their teenagers, and with young people. they have to take the opportunity, and that involvement pays huge dividends. host: the tenure today. guest: if you look at legislative history, at it was put into place for one reason, to protect teachers from i just an arbitrary action. -- from unjust and arbitrary
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action. there ought to be a good evaluation system, to identify any knowledge problem or deficiency i have as a teacher and tie it to a professional development system and have its say, here is your knowledge deficit, let bostick fix that -- let us fix that. host: and that should be at the state level, not district level? guest: state statues have provisions that require evaluation systems, and that it is -- that is developed at the local level. the purposes for improvement of instruction. very important purpose. if the purpose is to improve my instruction, don't designed a system where somebody observers me all year.
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i believe that the skills in the classrooms and teachers are so important, and they are so -- it is so critical to learning those, and you do not learn it all before you get there. if you have a system designed to improve your practice, that is the key it. host: we have a tweet. i think that is staying current with trends. guest: in most school districts, they have some professional development. in the last two years, much of that is tied to technology, because of the rapid changes. as a math teacher myself, i remember when -- of course, i taught a long time. i remember when calculators first came in, and now you go into classrooms and you have the white boards.
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oh, my. what you can do with that technology to enhance the student's ability to learn the material. the development past the ongoing. you never done a learning. it is a lifelong endeavor. host: matthew, republican line. caller: i was just calling to say if it died there could touch on, like, the issue of -- the guy there could touch on, like, the issue of morals in the classroom, police and the classroom. -- beliefs in the classroom. to me, that is a big part of the issue, with students in general, that maybe that could be brought back into the classroom, not so much as belief itself, but touching on, like, how people believe what the issues behind
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belief -- or the issues behind believe, and so on. guest: there are many school districts that have adopted what they called character education programs. teaching honesty, hard work, the work ethic, it is so critical to students. if you have a student that does not understand the need to follow through on their responsibilities, doing homework, getting ready for the test -- teaching those values is very important. obviously, religious instruction is not part of that, but the values of hard work and respect, all those are part of education. nea is made up of our members and the best evaluation systems are done in collaboration between management and employees of the district and the school board.
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i mentioned earlier that we believe the purpose ought to be for the improvement of instruction. it ought to be about improving our practice as a teacher. it should not be just in my first three years, but throughout my career. i should always be working to enhance the practice of my profession. i believe the most successful programs are those that have been developed in collaboration. at the local level, to have employees and management and the school board's saying let cost to develop any vibration system that is meaningful to -- the people let's develop any valuation system that is meaningful to the people being evaluated. host: in new york city, mayor bloomberg just announced raises to save jobs. guest: in state budgets, how do they balance the state budget? they do not have the freedom of
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the federal government of not balancing the budget. it is between management and the school board and employees to say how is it we are going to meet the requirements. as you go across the country, in some states and districts, they are shortening the school weeks to four days as a way of saving money. tough times and tough decisions. that is what the jobs bill in congress right now is so important, to save those 300,000 jobs. host: georgia, mike, independent line. you are on the air, mike. caller: the problem is that nea gets most of their free literature from tax-exempt organizations. the problem is that our united states and russian science boys
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got together in an attempt to make us citizens, and since they are not allowed have override on primacy, they have determined to go through these steps that exempt organizations that give out awards and medallions on books to propagate whatever they want to propagate. anybody that don't go along with the square peg and going to get a chance at the table. and i would love to hear what you have got to say about that. guest: the national education association is made of 3.2 million individuals who all paid dues to the organization. that is where we get 99% of our budget. we don't get it from outside foundations. what you are talking about is the development of the curriculum, which is done by
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different organizations and companies, and many private companies develop curriculum and textbooks. the decision of what to adopt is usually a local decision. sometimes states have approved a list of textbooks that districts may choose from. and then the decision is made with the local district as to which it textbook they should use for their students. it is a process that i believe has the checks and balances of the democratic process in order to ensure that we have the right kinds of materials for students to enhance their learning. host: what is your organization's assessment of the benefits and down sides of the eight years of the no child left behind law? guest: no child left behind was based on one very important premise, the disapprobation of the data. if the sub groups are not performing, just average scores are not good enough. the bad news about no child left behind was the over-emphasis on testing, and only math and reading, and the punishment and
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labeling with that. two of the most dangerous things that happened, and i believed they were the unintended consequences -- one was the narrowing of the curriculum. less emphasis on science and history, geography, the arts, whether they be music or acting, and all that is necessary to educate the whole child. the second in fact that i think is extremely negative -- second impact that i think is extremely negative, and i think it was unintended, is that it made this tests so important that it changed the educational practice. one example -- a principal at the beginning of the year says that we will not worry about the students that have already scored provision, we will not worry about the ones that are already way below, because we will not get in there. we will focus on a the students
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that are just below proficiency. that is it bad educational policy. that over-emphasis of testing is one of the real negatives, compounded by and never went curriculum. -- compounded by a narrowing curriculum. there are standards in math and reading so that they will be uniform. right now states have a very different standards. as educators, some of us say that being proficient in my state is totally different than being proficient in a different state where the standards are so much higher. that is why the 48 states said it was so important. let's get together and find what the standards are. once they are there, it is voluntary to adopt them or not. but those that to adopt them, they will be able to say from state to state that we know what
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we need to know for them to be successful. host: washington, d.c. caller: i think that there should not be at state-by-state standard. that is why there is an equal distribution of -- unequal distribution of education. it is why there is such a progressive drop out rate. i don't think it makes very much sense for all students in this country to take the test that is to match -- to see who is doing so well across the country in these particular subjects, because they don't get the same education. i mean, that is common sense. with proper education equal across the country, why do they have to take, at the end, the test that is going to show for sure that they are getting un
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equal education? it is stupid. if some kids are getting the education that prepares them for this test all the way from kindergarten all the way up, and there are students than ever get that same -- the tests should match the education across the board. there should not be state-by- state. it should be national. there should be national standards, period. guest: i think that the reason the 48 states can together to develop these common core standards is that they agree with you, thattjust makes sense. clear and consistent standards across the states. host: we have about seven minutes left with our guests. it comes from chicago, john on the republican line. john, are you there? let's move on to abby. caller: i have two questions, or concerns, rather.
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i feel that there should be nationwide and equal funding from state to state and there should not bb state to state standards. people in the south, mostly, are behind people in new england and california. also, i think there should be greater requirements for preschool teachers and more focused and primary education and study skills so that people are not being labeled as they go into high school and being left behind in that way. host: let's take a second one first. guest: let me talk about the funding. your point is -- your point that should be equitable from state to state. the majority of the funding comes from state and local so it is difficult to the government to do that. but a good role for the federal government is to ensure equity issues.
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if a student is being denied equity, the federal government can play a role in that. for students whose needs have not been met, the federal government has assisted and become a partner with the state. the other question -- host: i wrote it down and i now have lost it, but i will come back. we have a number of people on twitter expressing comments about teaching to the test. here is one of them. guest: as we look at the skills, the knowledge that are necessary for the 21st century, they always mention critical thinking skills, problem-solving, the use of technology. and also, collaboration. what we have to look at is due
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our assessments do that? the problem with the assessments right now is there is over- emphasis on the the test, the standards test given once a year. they do not cover the students of a hole large percentage of teachers. if you are a history teacher, science, a drama, p.e. -- if i am in an art class, i ought to show progress and growth from beginning to end of the year. the department of education put out a program hoping that a consortium would develop a better assessments that shows evidence of learning in mort subjects than just math and reading. that is really important. if the test is too narrow and you only teach to the test, that is a problem. host: the prior collar's comments -- prior caller's
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comments -- and this is on teaching study skills. guest: i think that is a very important one. all of my students had to established a goal in my class, not just what you wanted as a great, but what you ought to read -- not just what you wanted as a great, but what you had to have. i would work with them individually to analyze what is it that you were doing or not doing to reach your goal. many students just don't know how to study well, and that is a skilled like any other skill. it needs to be taught and practiced by the student and that is how we ensure the success. host: john, our last caller, in chicago. john, if you are on. caller: i worked as a teacher in
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chicago public schools briefly, so i had some experience. my main problem with the teaching environment is the union mentality of teachers. but in your time and wages keep increasing regardless up -- put in your time and wages keep increasing regardless of results. there is no accountability, and we see this in the chicago public school system. guest: i like the union culture. my organization started three years ago and now is really in full swing -- priorities schools. some people call these high- need, we call them priority. reaching out to parents in the community in collaboration with management and school board, saying that we need to be different. i believe that is the responsibility of the unions, and we are doing it. i can show you examples all over this country in every single state where collaboration with
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unions and management and school board is changing schools around. that is the responsibility of the unions. when it comes to accountability, there ought to be shared accountability. we ought to make sure that teachers have what they need to meet students' needs, have to make sure that the community is there, that policymakers provide the necessary programs and funding. it is a collaborative effort. the idea that only one group and what is wrong and it is wrong to blame one group. host: it was alaska that opted out of the process. virginia last week dropped out of or race to the top. we want to get that accurate. as we close here, can you tell us what your organization likes about the administration's race to the top process, and what your concerns are? your concerns are?

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